As mentioned in previous articles, you must be diligent as a Parks and Recreation professional. Inspections are essential. Questions you may have include “What do I need to inspect?” and “How can I make the inspection process easier?” Let's answer those and related questions, beginning with some common areas where inspections may be beneficial.
In many situations, regular playground inspections are required by law. Even when they are not, having a regular inspection schedule and documented evidence of inspections can help in legal situations. Inspections of playgrounds can also help protect the safety of children, of course. Additionally, playground equipment inspected and maintained regularly may last longer, saving money. Typically, older playground equipment requires more frequent inspection. The same is true of equipment with a lot of moving parts that could be affected by such issues as rust/weather damage.
Regular inspections of parks is essential because parks have many different elements, each of which can easily develop a variety of problems. Litter and graffiti are high on the list of things to look for during park inspections. However, parks also require you to be on the alert for a host of other issues. Among them are:
- Paved surface damage.
- Grass or plant overgrowth.
- Tree damage.
- Wood rot or infestation in wooden structures.
It goes without saying that vehicles require regular maintenance. However, in a situation where a lot of vehicles are present, it can be difficult to remember when each one was last serviced. For that reason, as well as scheduling purposes, having a set inspection schedule and related checklists is essential.
Pools and Aquatic Facilities
Those not in the Parks and Recreation field often seem to assume aquatic facilities are magically self-sufficient. However, as you probably know, they must constantly be inspected to keep them in working order. Locating issues like cracked pool linings or walkway tiles early prevents catastrophic failures or injuries from occurring. Public aquatic facilities also require inspections of safety gear, water heating equipment, filtration systems, and chemical levels.
No matter what type of Parks and Recreations facility you work at, you will always have miscellaneous equipment that needs to be inspected regularly. That could be anything from garden hoses and sprinklers to generators or circuit breakers. Keeping track of inspection times and results for all such equipment can make all the difference in terms of public safety and functionality of the space in question. When lists are maintained, no equipment is ever overlooked.
Buildings and Facilities
Buildings and facilities are particularly vulnerable to poor maintenance routines, especially since one problem can quickly become many. For example, a leaking roof can cause damage to the internal portions of a structure. Similarly, an electrical short could cause a fire. Generally, maintaining a building or facility requires a strict checklist. That checklist can help you assign tasks to staff members and record necessary data, such as what may need to be repaired.
Combining Everything You Need
Every circumstance is different, but for most Parks and Recreation work you will find you need a few key things. Those are:
- Established Inspection Schedule
- Established Way of Designating Workers for Specific Inspections
- Various Checklists Relating to What Was Done or Needs to be Done
Checklists are necessary for many things in the Parks and Recreation world. They can help you establish restroom cleaning, snow removal, and lawn mowing schedules, for example. You can also use checklists in conjunction with inspection schedules to streamline maintenance processes and make the best use of staff member time.